Album review: BARENAKED LADIES – BNL Rocks Red Rocks

BARENAKED LADIES - BNL Rocks Red Rocks

Concord/Universal [Release date 20.05.16]

Barenaked Ladies (BNL) are one of those bands I have heard the name and read the odd album review through the years, but never really heard anything by them. That will change after listening to this live album, which is full of sparkling pop/rock songs and lots of the humour the band are renowned for.

The album was recorded at their 10th June show last year at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater and marks the band’s first live release since founding member Steven Page left the band in 2009. BNL have an amazing array of harmonies – have a listen to ‘Falling For The First Time’ or ‘Brian Wilson’ – quirky lyrics wrapped in a delightful pop tune.

They must have had former Men At Work singer Colin Hay as support, as the BNL invited him on stage to perform ‘Who Can It Be Now?’ (a US number 1 and Canadian top 10 smash, yet only reached no. 45 in the UK!). The sax is played by another guest, Blaise Garza of the Violent Femmes. It is a great version and really gets the crowd going.

They mix older songs with newer ones like ‘Duct Tape Heart’, which despite its strange title is a great pop song. Fans of ‘Big Bang Theory’ will be happy as the band wrote and performed the theme tune, which they performed on the night. Here in the UK their biggest hit was ‘One Week’ which they play towards the end of the set. Classic tune and surprised they never really had more hits here in the UK since then.

Part of BNL’s appeal lies in the fact they seem to be having a ball on stage and this translates into the audience I am sure. They also play in lots of musical styles and heck they can rock like a good ‘un as they perform a spirited version of the Led Zep classic ‘Rock and Roll’.

I am not normally a fan of live albums in general, however this one is an exception and I will definitely make sure I get along to see them live next time they play in the UK.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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